Tarot. Fortune telling. Zodiac. It all was a gimmick. When Fiona dragged me to the psychic, I expected more bull shit. Weirdly, it felt like therapy. The woman with watery gray eyes held onto my hand and asked about Simon.
I hadn’t expected to talk about him, but she mentioned something about the hate simmering beneath the surface since I walked in the room. How it seemed to radiate off me.
I was angry. Of course I was angry. Just saying Simon’s name got my blood boiling. The way he had violated me. How I was a mess of snot and tears afterwards. It was only ten days ago. I hadn’t told anyone, but Fiona saw the way I had avoided him in the hallways at school. He’d pass me and grin, a certain smugness I wanted to punch off his face.
“Hey, Bella,” he’d say, “when we going to hang out again?” As though my screams and scratches didn’t reach him. As though my pleas and protests didn’t penetrate him. Of course I had hated Simon. He was vile. His smile was like a wolf’s. I felt something burn whenever I was around him.
The psychic was gentle but stern. Her gaze hardened as I described what Simon did. But she told me, “The hate you give will come back to haunt you. You need to heal so that the hate doesn’t consume you.”
I wanted to be angry though. I wanted to hate Simon. Anger gave me power. The moment I forgave him, I would become a coward again.
That night, as I showered, I scrubbed at my skin longer and rougher than I should have. I let the water steam my skin raw. Lobster red. Then, I scrubbed at it briskly until invisible blisters formed, burning my gentle skin. I could not scrub off Simon’s filth. The past ten days, I have washed like those parts of my body, begging for his scent to be erased from my skin.
I used my loofah as the enemy. I tortured myself for letting someone violate me like that. As the blood diluted with the shower water and swirled down the drain, I realized something.
The psychic wasn’t talking about the hate I gave Simon haunting me.
She meant my self-focused hatred could be the very thing to destroy me.
Sorry it’s a day late, but due to personal reasons, I couldn’t finish this Reimagining in time, but hopefully, you like it nonetheless. Stay tuned later today for the next retelling, my reimagining of Tony Morrison’s Beloved.